Types of Damages
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim, you are essentially giving them the responsibility of ensuring that the compensation or settlement given to you will be “fair” and coincides with the injury that the accident caused. A great number of personal injury claims often lead to settlement out of court, mainly because going to court would be costly and will not always provide a good result. It is therefore important for personal injury lawyers to have a justifiable injury settlement to avoid spending unnecessary time, effort, and money for a court-based process.
Each personal injury claim is unique, and so Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, suggests that in order for you to have a fair and appropriate amount of compensation for your damages (legalese term for injuries and losses), you have to understand the damages that are applicable in your own specific case. Damages have three basic types: the economic, non-economic, and punitive. Unless the injury was very severe and the defendant acted very egregiously, punitive damages may not be necessary and will not be a part of the settlement. Economic damages can easily be proven with records, documents and receipts showing your expenses (both past and future) relating to the injuries and property damage, while non-economic damages will cover for emotional and/or psychological damages that the accident caused. This may be harder to compute and would need further evidence to be presented in order to justify the amount given.
After an amount has been determined, it will be your lawyer’s responsibility to inform the other party through a demand letter. There should always be room for negotiation, so it is highly advised to have an amount higher than the “bottom line”. The other party will present a counteroffer lower than your given settlement, and negotiations between both parties will eventually lead to a settlement. If not, then the claim will go to court and either the judge or jury will decide on the amount of compensation.